DEMONS by Dostoevsky

Our new transposition of DEMONS by Dostoevsky is his prophetic vision of the social unrest that ushered in the Russian Revolution.

Inspired by the murder of a student in 1869 by his former co-conspirators. It warns of the potential danger of ideas and demonstrates that an ideology taken too seriously can become demonic, extremist and destructive, as a small town descends into chaos. The novel brings many threads together that resonate with our contemporary society: class division, questions of faith and religion, nationalism, child abuse, clash of generations… Dostoevsky approaches it with dark humour and satire, it also contains fantastic characters for the stage.

Our dramatisation is created by our artistic director Peter Sturm, working from the translation by the acclaimed translators Richard Pevear and  Larissa Volokhonsky. We carried out a Workshop on it with seven actors, with the support of the Jerwood Space and Boris Karloff Charitable Foundation. We were invited to perform selected scenes at Pushkin House, London, followed by a discussion chaired by Susan Richards, and were delighted that Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky attended and joined the panel.

Albert Camus had a particular fascination with the novel, he described his encounter with Dostoevsky as a “soul-shaking experience”, he went on to create his own adaptation for the stage in 1959.

So – spinning the spider silk, weaving the threads… to create the web….

The satirical bite of Demons

Dostoevsky and Virginia Woolf

Ivan the Tsarevich